Worship: November 22, 2020

ZION UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

22 Gettysburg Street  Box 538

Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

Reign of Christ Sunday

November 22, 2020

9:00 am

Welcome to Zion and a special welcome to our visitors in these days of adjusting to a new normal in worship.  We are practicing safe distancing and wearing masks during the entire service so that you can feel secure worshiping together.  The entire service is printed here so there is no need for hymnals or Bibles.  As you have been ushered to your seats at the beginning of worship, you will also be ushered out, one row at a time, to exit the sanctuary.   Restrooms are located in the church school building.  Please leave by the Gettysburg Street door to the side door on Main Street, turn left at the end of the hall and then turn right to find the restroom.  Return through the Gettysburg Street door.  Thank you for your understanding and patience in these difficult times.

*Where noted, please stand if able.

Congregational response in bold print. 

PRELUDE

TIME OF SHARING

*CALL TO WORSHIP

 

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him,

then he will sit on the throne of his glory.

Come, Holy One, come. 

Let your full glory be seen in this world.

All the nations will be gathered before him,

and he will separate people from one another

as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Come, Savior of the world, come. 

May we be found to be acceptable in your eyes.

 

* PRAYER OF INVOCATION

Waken us from our sleep to sense your nearness, O God. 

Save your flock from enemies within and without,

from temptation and division,

from self-concern and lack of compassion. 

We gather to remember all you have done for us and to make our response. 

We come to find rest amid our weariness and grief. 

We come to be fed, for we hunger after the bread of life only you can provide. 

Meet us here to make us whole.

 

*GATHERING HYMN “Jesus Shall Reign”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

Jesus shall reign wheree’er the sun

Does its successive journeys run;

His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,

Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

 

To him shall endless prayer be made,

And praises throng to crown his head;

His name, like sweet perfume, shall raise

With every morning sacrifice.

 

Blessings abound where’er he reigns;

The prisoners leap to loose their chains;

The weary find eternal rest,

And all who suffer want are blest.

 

Let every creature rise and bring

Honors peculiar to our king;

Angels descend with songs again,

And earth repeat the loud Amen!

 

TIME OF CONFESSION

Are you among the lost or strayed whom God seeks?

Most of us do not see ourselves that way most of the time.

Yet our priorities are confused as we live without a clear sense of direction.

The world’s values prey on us.

Self-interest limits our vision and outreach.

Prayers of confession offer positive avenues of growth.

We confess, O God that we have failed to see Jesus in the strangers around us. 

We have been doubtful that prisoners are worthy of our help. 

We blame the sick and hungry and homeless for their condition. 

Yet we too have been needy and weak and afraid. 

We walk through the same valley of the shadow of death. 

O, God, forgive our self-concern that shuts out others and cuts us off from you. 

For we ask it in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

And now let us confess in silence those fears that keep us from loving as Christ has loved us.

 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

As all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.

As we focus only on our own interests, our lives are diminished.

But when the Spirit of Christ reigns in us, life becomes fulfilling and purposeful.

We are God’s flock.

We have known God’s care.

Our cups overflow.

Thanks be to God for this magnificent gift of love.

 

THE GIVING OF OURSELVES AND OUR OFFERINGS

The opportunities of the kingdom of our Lord are great,

and we have an opportunity to participate in that great endeavor.

Let us be generous as our tithes and offerings are received.

(If you did not place your offering in the basket prior to being seated for worship, you are invited to place your offering there before you leave this morning.  You can also choose to mail it to Zion United Church of Christ, PO Box 538, Arendtsville, Pennsylvania 17303.  Your ongoing support of the church is deeply appreciated in these days.)

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

We thank you for this opportunity to share in the

support of the benevolent reign of Christ,

and we pray that what we give today will strengthen that universal effort.

 

OLD TESTAMENT LESSON FOR THE MORNING

Ezekiel 34: 11-16, 20-24

34:11 For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.
34:12 As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
34:13 I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land.
34:14 I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.
34:15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.
34:16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.
34:20 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
34:21 Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide,
34:22 I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
34:23 I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
34:24 And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

 

EPISTLE LESSON FOR THE MORNING

Ephesians 1: 15-23

1:15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason
1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.
1:17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him,
1:18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,
1:19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.
1:20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.
1:22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church,
1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

 

GOSPEL READING FOR THE MORNING

St. Matthew 25: 31-46

25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
25:32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
25:33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.
25:34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
25:35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
25:36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’
25:37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
25:38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?
25:39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’
25:40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
25:42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
25:43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
25:44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’
25:45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

SILENT PRAYER AND PREPARATION

THE MESSAGE FOR THE MORNING:  Pastor George’s sermon and the entire service can be watched at the live stream address previously emailed to members.

 

PASTORAL PRAYER AND THE LORD’S PRAYER

Our Father who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done

On earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins

As we forgive those who sin against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom,

And the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.

 

*CLOSING HYMN  “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name”

Printed with permission under license CCLI #1149146

 

All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall;

Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of all!

Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of all!

 

Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race, ye ransomed from the fall,

Hail him who saves you by his grace, and crown him Lord of all!

Hail him who saves you by his grace, and crown him Lord of all!

 

Let every kindred, every tribe on this terrestrial ball,

To him all majesty ascribe, and crown him Lord of all!

To him all majesty ascribe, and crown him Lord of all!

 

O that with yonder sacred throng we at his feet may fall!

We’ll join the everlasting song, and crown him Lord of all!

We’ll join the everlasting son, and crown him Lord of all!

 

*COMMISSION AND BENEDICTION

Grace to you and peace from him who is and was and who is to come,

and from the seven spirits who are before the throne,

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead,

and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

CHIME MEDITATION

(please be seated until dismissed by the usher)

 

POSTLUDE

 

During this virus crisis, the Office Manager will often be working from home.  Please call the office before stopping by.

Coming Up Next Week:

November 22                   In-person Worship           Church                     9:00 a.m.

Sunday School                 Church                   10:00 a.m.

November 23                   UACT Youth Cmte          Fellowship Hall       6:00 p.m.

November 26                   Happy Thanksgiving!

Looking Forward:

November 29                   Live stream Worship with Communion           9:00 a.m.

Poinsettia orders due

December 2                     Bible Study                      Zoom                       6:30 p.m.

Happy Birthday to Jane T. who celebrates her 92nd birthday on November 23rd!

Worship Changes:  Due to the increased presence of the Covid-19 virus in our community, we are probably going to move to only live streaming worship services through the end of the year.  Today, November 22nd, will be the last opportunity for in-person worship until we determine that it is safe to gather in the sanctuary.  The link for the live stream of the 9:00 a.m. Sunday service will be sent via email, and the service can be watched live at 9:00 a.m. or at your convenience.  There are a couple of outside activities tentatively planned for closer to Christmas, and we will decide whether to proceed with those events by December 13th.   Thank you for your understanding and patience.  Keep praying and keep hoping.

Communion Next Sunday:  Please remember to have your Communion elements ready before watching the live stream worship service.

Pastoral Care:  If you would like a visit from George, please contact him and let him know a convenient time.

Search Committee Update:  The Search committee has completed its preparation and training over the past 4 weeks. Zion’s profile has been released and the Committee looks forward to receiving pastor’s profiles.

The Ladies Breakfast Group:  Thanks again, ladies, for the $350.00 donation to the Audio/Visual Project!  The White Elephant sale was our last meeting for a while.  In deference to the mounting number of cases of Covid-19 in Adams County, Zion’s ladies will NOT be meeting for breakfast at the Apple Bin for the next few months.  When we resume, an announcement will be put in the bulletin and in an email blast.  Stay safe!

Homewood Christmas Gifts:  This year, Homewood is accepting for the residents signed Christmas cards along with UNWRAPPED, UNSCENTED, any brand body lotion and UNWRAPPED cube style tissue boxes.  Residents enjoy seasonal winter themed tissue boxes. Cards with blank envelopes and signed with name/church and a brief message are appreciated. Cards and lotion/tissues can be placed in boxes in Church until 12/6. Thank you for helping to brighten the Christmas season for the Homewood residents. Any questions, please contact Angie.

PCC Advent Cantata:  The Penn Central Conference is creating a virtual Advent Cantata for your enjoyment and possible use in worship.  The director is hard at work, the singers and instrumentalists have been briefed and are receiving their scores, the narrator is practicing, and more than 65 people are studiously creating a transcendent Christmas piece!

You can sign up to receive the Penn Central Conference Advent Cantata at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/77LNGVD

Distribution of files will begin by November 22, in case you wish to use them for the first Sunday of Advent.  If you have any questions, contact Julie Holm at bvfofmusic@gmail.com